Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Berks County

Discover the 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Berks County, Pennsylvania

Berks County, situated in the southeastern region of Pennsylvania, is home to approximately 420,000 residents. This county encompasses the city of Reading, serving as both the county seat and the fifth-largest city in the state.

Despite hosting numerous historical and cultural sites, Berks County also contains neighborhoods notorious for elevated levels of crime and violence. Utilizing information from NeighborhoodScout, CrimeGrade, and Information Visualization, the following list outlines the five most hazardous neighborhoods in Berks County, Pennsylvania, as of the year 2020:

Reading:

Reading stands as the most extensive and densely populated city in Berks County, accommodating approximately 95,000 inhabitants. However, it also holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest crime rate within the county, registering 28.88 crimes for every 1,000 residents.

The rate of violent crimes escalates to 7.28 per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average by more than two-fold. Simultaneously, the rate of property crimes reaches 21.6 per 1,000 residents, which is over three times the national average. These concerning statistics are mirrored by Reading’s 38% poverty rate and a median household income of $30,823.

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Muhlenberg Park:

Muhlenberg Park, situated in the northeastern region of the county, is a census-designated place (CDP) with a population of around 2,000 residents. Within the county, it holds the second-highest crime rate, tallying up to 25.5 crimes for every 1,000 residents.

The rate of violent crime stands at 4 per 1,000 residents, slightly below the national average. However, the property crime rate is notably higher at 21.5 per 1,000 residents, which is more than three times the national average. The poverty rate in Muhlenberg Park is 12%, while the median household income amounts to $56,250.

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West Reading:

West Reading stands as a borough housing approximately 4,000 inhabitants in the heart of the county. Positioned as the third-highest crime rate within the county, it records 24 crimes for every 1,000 residents. The category of violent crimes is marked at 3 per 1,000 residents, a figure below the national average.

On the other hand, the category of property crimes accounts for 21 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average by over threefold. The poverty rate in West Reading amounts to 19%, with a median household income resting at $47,500.

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Wyomissing:

Wyomissing, situated in the central area of the county, is a borough with approximately 10,000 inhabitants. It ranks fourth in the county for its crime rate, recording 23 crimes for every 1,000 residents. The incidence of violent crime stands at 2 per 1,000 residents, which is below the national average.

However, the rate of property crimes is notably higher at 21 per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average by over three times. The poverty rate in Wyomissing is 9%, and the median household income amounts to $73,750.

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Shillington:

Shillington, situated in the southern region of the county, is a borough with approximately 5,000 inhabitants. Among the county’s areas, it holds the fifth-highest rate of crime, recording 22 crimes per 1,000 residents.

The occurrence of violent crime stands at 2 per 1,000 residents, a figure below the national average. However, the prevalence of property crime is notable, at 20 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average by more than threefold. Shillington exhibits an 11% poverty rate and a median household income of $52,500.

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Conclusion

These five communities make up approximately a quarter (25%) of Berks County’s entire population. However, they account for approximately half (50%) of all reported crimes in the county during the year 2020. These areas are also characterized by their high poverty rates and significant racial diversity compared to other parts of the county.

While various factors contribute to the prevalence of crime and violence in these neighborhoods, including limited access to education, job opportunities, social services, and community support, it’s evident that increased focus and intervention from both authorities and society are necessary to enhance safety and the overall well-being of these areas.

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Happy Purwal is a news writer with one year of experience. He is skilled in researching and writing engaging news articles. His expertise includes covering current events, politics, and human interest stories. He is passionate about delivering accurate and unbiased news to his readers.